Dallas Woman Sues Owner of Olive Garden After Getting Sick - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Woman Sues Owner of Olive Garden After Getting Sick



    Suzie Matteis says she got sick after eating salad at a restaurant in Addison in early July. (Published Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013)

    A Dallas woman who says she contracted cyclospora filed a lawsuit Friday against the company that owns Olive Garden restaurants. 

    Suzie Matteis said she got sick after eating salad at an Olive Garden restaurant in Addison in early July.  Matteis said she’s suffered physically and financially because of the illness and that she's she’s still recovering from the intestinal parasite.

    “This has really been rough,” Matteis told NBC 5 Sunday.

    Days after her meal, her symptoms were nausea, fatigue, diarrhea and some fever.

    “I didn’t feel good. I had what I call GI distress. It was very uncomfortable with many trips to the restroom," said Matteis. "I finally went to the doctor because it was taking too long to resolve this.  And he said, 'Yes, it’s taking too long.' I’ve never been like this.”

    Two weeks ago Matteis got the diagnosis -- cyclosporiasis.  She was never hospitalized, just finished her antibiotics and said she still feels fatigued and weak.

    Friday, Matteis’ lawyer filed a lawsuit against Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden.  The company is not commenting on the lawsuit but did say Texas restaurants aren’t served by the same supplier, which according to the FDA sent contaminated salad mix to Darden restaurants in Iowa and Nebraska.  Darden said it’s fully cooperating with the investigation.

    In a statement to NBC News, Darden said:

     Iowa and Nebraska health authorities have said this is not an ongoing outbreak and the product is no longer in the food supply in those states. The health and safety of our guests is our top priority, and it is completely safe to eat in our restaurants.

    Matteis’ attorney is Ryan Osterholm out of Minnesota.  He told NBC 5 it’s too early to know how much money, in the way of damages, he’ll be seeking for his client.  The lawsuit said Matteis is out about $15,000 in medical bills and missed work so far and is demanding a jury trial.

    As of last Friday, more than 400 people in 16 states have tested positive for cyclospora.